BTUF Presentation

Political Economy Review: The New Development Bank in Context


2018 BRICS Trade Union Forum: Riaz Tayob

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Presentation by Riaz Tayob an International Trade and Finance expert and friend of PESA. The presentation was delivered at the 2018 BRICS Trade Union Forum held in Durban under the theme, “Inclusive BRICS for Decent Work and Sustainable Development”. The discussion puts the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) into context and proposes a more sustainable way for South Africa to develop in a world of globalised finance.

Based on the premise that the bank is a reality, the proposition is that the orientation of the NDB can still be shaped. Emphasis is placed on the importance of resilience to financial crises with Contingency Reserve Agreement. Holding the view that liberalised international finance is unstable, the loan function of the Bank is a preferred second to grants. Where loans are granted, these are suggested to be very long term. The major problem of putting adjustment costs onto ordinary people to meet international payments obligations will remain a problem, and solidarity solutions are required. Auto-centered development was possible, as shown by China, and access to finance domestically can be sufficient and more sustainable, given the right institutional framework.


BRICS Trade Union Forum

BRICS Trade Union Forums are held annually in the countries and cities where and when the BRICS summits are taking place. Trade union delegates discuss the drafts of BRICS documents including those of the intergovernmental nature and formulate their position on the most important issues of the joint agenda. Declarations adopted at the Forums are then handed over to BRICS heads of state for the workers’ position to be taken account.

Starting from 2016 trade unions take part in the meetings of BRICS Ministers of Labour and Employment as social partners.

In addition to official trade union delegates the sessions and meetings of BRICS Trade Union Forums are attended by local trade union activists, as well as invited representatives of the ITUC, ILO and the government of the host country. In 2017, the BRICS member unions approved the Provisional Rules of the Trade Union Forum.

Routine work in-between the meetings and Forums is carried out by national coordinators designated by each of the BRICS countries.


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